Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blog Swap and Hop

Welcome to the Blog Swap and Hop, organized by the fabulous Tessa from Tales from Outside the Classroom.  Today teacher bloggers across the world are swapping blogs.  I am fortunate to have Lori from Conversations in Literacy share some back to school fine motor development activities.  After you have read her post, come find me at Raki's Rad Resources to learn about using mentor texts in writing.  Then continue through the blog hop using the links below this (and every) post.

Hi everyone!  I am Lori from Conversations in Literacy and I get the honor of being a guest on Jana's fabulous blog today!  I am so excited to be able to be here and I really hope you find something that you like and can use these ideas.  :)  Be sure to follow Jana and I would love for you to come visit and follow me at my blog too!

It is early to start thinking about the next school year, right?  But I know a lot of you are already thinking about it and gathering ideas!  Seems our teacher brains have a hard time shutting off and truly relaxing sometimes.  I am always on the look out for ideas I can use to help my students.

We have some students coming in this next year that we know will need some fine motor development to help them get ready to use that pencil and to be able to write.  Always seems that we have a few, don't we?  

Here are some ideas that you can use to help those incoming students that need a little extra help with this.  First, we like to use colorful scarves!  We practice holding them in our fingers similar to a pencil grip and using big movements.  We practiced up and down lines, swirling and curves, and completing big circles.

We also practice these basic movements on paper.  Some students aren't quite ready for writing letters yet.  They may not have had experience with writing and the movements needed for that.   The thought is to practice them in large movement first then move to smaller movements on big paper then scale down to regular paper and writing their names.  Here is an example of just basic lines on big paper.

Another tried and true way to build up fine motor strength is to use lacing cards.  These are easy and fun for the students to do.  

A really fun way for students to build their fine motor strength while working on their name is to use tongs to pick up pom pom balls.  It is important to me that as they do this, they lay the pom poms on their letters in a way that follows the correct path of movement for letter formation.  

Have you seen the gel bags on Pinterest?  Gel bags are another good way for students to practice fine motor skills.  They are very easy to make.  Just take a baggie and fill with hair gel- the cheapest you can find.  Then you can mix in food coloring and/or glitter.  I just put in a couple colors of glitter in this one as I didn't want it very dark.  Students can practice shapes, lines, letters, etc... as they move their finger over the top of the sealed baggie.  I went a step further in mine and put in a couple of smooth buttons.  I want my students to practice manipulating the buttons around.  I also slip a paper with their name under the baggie so they can practice moving the button with their finger over their name for another way to practice fine motor and learn their letters in their name all at the same time.

 I have enjoyed my time here on Jana's blog!  Thank you, Jana, so much for having me!!  Please take time to come see who is visiting on my blog today too!  You can blog hop all day and gather some really great ideas!

Conversations in Literacy


  1. I LOVE the button in the gel baggie! That is so awesome...I think I want to make some today! =)

    Thank you so much for all of these awesome tips.

    It was fun seeing you over here today. =)

    Heather's Heart

  2. Lori, I like that you take the time to build up some strength and muscle memory in those little hands before handing out pencils and paper with lines.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  3. I love the idea of using tweezers and fuzz balls to build fine motor skills!! Thank you for sharing!!

    The 3AM Teacher
    Visit My TPT Store
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  4. These are great ideas! I am TOTALLY doing the button idea! And I am slightly obsessed with pom poms, so that one too! :)

    Apples and ABC's

  5. I love these ideas and I love the one with the button idea! Guess I should add hair gel and buttons onto my Dollar Tree list that I keep going all the time! Thanks so much for sharing today!

    Deb at Fabulously First
    My TpT Store
    Fabulously First on FB

  6. We kindergarten teachers LOVE good fine motor ideas. I love the buttons! That's a must do for sure.
    A Differentiated Kindergarten

  7. Great ideas for fine motor skills. Thanks for sharing!

    Grade School Giggles

  8. Good, strong, fine motor skills are so important. Thanks for all the great ideas to help strengthen them.
    Ѽ Lori
    Teaching With Love and Laughter

  9. Thank you everyone for visiting me here on Jana's great blog! I enjoyed reading your comments and so appreciate that you came by! :)
    Conversations in Literacy

  10. Jana, I wanted to thank you for allowing me to guest on your blog during the blog swap and hop! It was a lot of fun!!
    Conversations in Literacy

  11. Lori, you are welcome back any time. I loved your post!

  12. is this a manipulative activity the bom poms please let me know thank you


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